The vertebrate segmentation clock is a molecular oscillator that regulates the periodicity of somite formation. Three signalling pathways have been proposed to underlie the molecular mechanism of the oscillator, namely the Notch, Wnt and Fgf pathways. Characterizing the roles and hierarchy of these three pathways in the oscillator mechanism is currently the focus of intense research. Recent publications report the first identification of a molecular mechanism involved in the regulation of the pace of this oscillator. We review these and other recent findings regarding the interaction between the three pathways in the oscillator mechanism that have significantly expanded our understanding of the segmentation clock.
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